Types of COVID Tests Offered
RT-PCR result - 24-36 hours
Rapid Antigen Test result - 15 minutes
Use the chart below to help decide on the type and time of test you need.
Yes! For travel, check the requirements for your destination or airlines. We do not keep track of each country or airline. They change often, so please check ahead to be sure you request the right test at the right time. RT-PCR results take 1 to 2 days with no guarantee of results on time.
A: You should get tested as soon as you can if you or your child has any COVID symptoms. Use the chart below to help you decide what type of test you should get and when you should get it.
COVID symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, headache, lack of taste or smell, mouth sores, muscle ache, nasal congestion, nausea, pink eye, sleepiness, sore throat, unusual rash, Or a “feeling that things aren’t quite right”.
A: Generally 3 to 7 days after exposure.
Note: People can be infectious if they are asymptomatic, 2 days before symptoms, when they are sick, and 2 days before they test positive and up to 10 days after.
- You were within 6 feet of someone with COVID for 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period.
- You gave care to someone with COVID at home.
- You hugged or kissed someone with COVID.
- You shared eating or drinking utensils.
- You were coughed or sneezed on.
A RT-PCR test detects whether you have a current COVID-19 infection. This is the most sensitive and accurate test available. Results are processed by an offsite laboratory and takes approx 24 hours. PCR tests are often positive two days before symptoms develop and can remain positive for many weeks. False positives are thought to occur 0.1% of the time.
Antigen tests detect proteins on the virus with results in 15 minutes. They are accurate when people are in the 2nd to 5th days of their symptoms or if they are asymptomatic, and 5 to 10 days after a known exposure. Antigen tests remain positive for a few days, in contrast to PCR tests which can remain positive for days to weeks. False positives occur about 1% of the time.
We do NOT offer antibody tests now. They detect past infection, not a current infection. Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 gradually fall within weeks of the infection. We do not know yet if having antibodies makes the person immune to the infection or for how long. They can be ordered for you.
We recommend a gentle nasal and oral swab for our PCR tests. If you prefer, we can offer a saliva-only PCR test done with a generous swab of the oral surfaces. Rapid tests require nose swabs.
How to Schedule COVID Test
Types of Tests Offered
Cost of COVID Test
A: Most contracted insurers cover the entire cost of the PCR Test. The lab bills the insurer directly for the PCR test. Inquire with your Insurer to verify your coverage.
A: An office visit and one covid test will be billed to your insurance if in network.
Out of network costs is $150 for a covid test.
A: We can do a courtesy bill to Kaiser for your covid testing The PCR tests are sent to a separate lab for processing and will bill your insurance provider directly.
COVID-19 In Children
After Hour Pediatrics has been the primary Covid testing and referral site for children with COVID-19 symptoms in the San Mateo area. Our pediatric patients with COVID-19 have done well, most with mild or no symptoms. Only one required hospitalization for MIS-C and did well with treatment.
Yes! Our Medical Director recommends children get the vaccine as soon as they can. While most children do well with COVID-19, some have long term consequences. Read the story of a young athlete whose heart was affected by myocarditis after a mild case of Covid-19.
While children can get severely ill, die, or suffer prolonged fatigue and exercise intolerance, the most common symptoms we have found in children with COVID-19 are fever, muscle aches, headache, congestion, stomach ache, diarrhea and fatigue, with a few children presenting with unusual rashes and “COVID toes”, thought to result from inflammation of the blood vessels.
Some children do suffer death and long term consequences, such as MIS-C, Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.